Warning that winter is in trouble, 75 Olympic medalists and other winter sports athletes-including White House Champion of Change awardee and pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones-sent a letter to President Obama April 9 urging him to take action on climate and clean energy.

Without a doubt, winter is in trouble, the letter states. At risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries. Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.

The letter to the president references a December 2012 report published by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighting the economic impact of inconsistent winters on the U.S. snow sports community and tourism-dependent states. 


The athletes letter calls on Obama to follow through on the promise he made in the State of the Union address to fight climate change. He can do so by using executive authority currently available to reduce carbon pollution emitted by Americas power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution worsening climate change, and by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would add millions of tons of new carbon pollution to the atmosphere.


Mr. President, its time to force our transition to clean energy, and we need your leadership, the letter states. …on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised.

Among those signing the letter was pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones, who was honored April 11 at a White House ceremony along with other Champions of Change, in recognition of ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.

Jones was recognized for his contribution to raising awareness about the impact of climate change on the winter sports industry by creating Protect Our Winters, a foundation established in 2007 to unite and mobilize the global winter sports community against climate change.

This nomination is an absolute honor for me and the work were doing at POW. But its now my responsibility to take this recognition and help secure a place in the climate discussions in Washington. The letter thats been enthusiastically signed by so many amazing athletes is a strong showing of solidarity from the leaders in snow sports on climate action, so together, we have to keep that momentum going, Jones said.

Other representatives of the global snow sports community who signed the letter included:

  • Olympic gold and silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA)
  • Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO)
  • 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year Jeremy Jones (Truckee, CA)
  • Olympic silver medalist, three-time World champion, seven-time X Games champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT)
  • Two-time Olympian and six-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Truckee, CA)
  • Olympic gold & silver medalist, six-time X Games medalist, six-time World Cup champion Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT)
  • 2010 Olympian, Nordic skier Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK)
  • Five-time winner Powder Magazines Best Female Performer Ingrid Backstrom (Seattle, WA)
  • Two-time World Freeskiing champion Chris Davenport (Aspen, CO)
  • Two- time World Freeeskiing champion, Kit Deslauriers (Jackson, WY)
  • 2013 World champion, X Games medalist Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO)